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Coordinated multipoint, or CoMP, transmission has been recognized as a spectrally efficient technique for full frequency reuse cellular systems, in which base stations cooperate to reduce or eliminate intercell interference. However, there are still many obstacles before it can be put into practical use. In this article, we first discuss the features of CoMP systems and channels that are distinct from single-cell multi-antenna systems. We then give an overview of state-of-the-art approaches for coping with the factors that limit the potential of CoMP. A major issue is the acquisition of channel state information, which creates different challenges for TDD and FDD systems. Another set of challenges arises from the limited capacity available on the backhaul connections between the cooperating base stations. Both the fundamentals of possible solutions and their relations to cellular standards are discussed.
Date of Publication: February 2013